"Returning from South Africa following my husband's emergency hospitalisation."

About: City Hospital campus Nottinghamshire County Teaching PCT

(as a relative),

We had excellent treatment in South Africa. involving craniotomy (bleed due to Warfarin 4.6 inr), 5 weeks in intensive care, subsequent cardioversion and 3 weeks intensive rehabilitation. We were very, very lucky indeed.

On return home, were seen very promptly by our Cardiologist, excellent service, who referred my husband to GP for referral onwards to stroke, neuro and physiotherapy services.

We saw our GP two days later and advised him of these recommendations verbally (subsequently confirmed in a letter from the Cardiologist, of which we have a copy - excellent).

The GP said he would refer my husband to a specialist Stroke unit at the City Hospital where he thought the other services would be available. Meantime he referred him to a local gym (we were most surprised at this as there is no physiotherapist there - surely this was premature under the circumstances?) We agreed to wait 2 weeks for an NHS date to come through, otherwise would choose to have a preliminary appointment privately to keep things moving forward and not lose the momentum of my husband's progress in South Africa rehabilitation, which we considered a priority.

Exactly 2 weeks later we received a 'phone call advising an appointment would be available 5 weeks later at the QMC in Nottingham; the administrator had just received a referral from the GP half an hour ago; the referral was designated by him as 'Routine'. We have not had a copy of this referral, by the way.

Notwithstanding our suprise at (a) the delay in the referral, (b) its 'routine' status , our major concern is (c) the fact that it is to an entirely different hospital and we have not been advised of nor the reason for this by the GP. We are astounded that he considers the matter routine when my husband has been literally at death's door - the GP has a full discharge report which clearly outlines the enormity of his medical trauma, though I doubt the GP read this thouroughly judging from his questions during the visit. The information was all in the report, including medication etc.

However, at the very least we expected a telephone call or letter to advise us of his decision to vary the original advice in regard to the Hospital appointment. Little regard, it seems, for the importance of keeping the patient informed. Do we indeed have a choice of hospital? An explanation for the change would surely be appropriate in order for us to exercise our own judgment in this respect and/or accept the GP's advice.

I have discussed this submission and shared it's content in full with my husband

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your comments about your husband’s treatment. You have highlighted an issue that needs to be addressed by your local Primary Care Trust. Please could you contact either the Nottingham City Patient Advice and Liaison Team (PALS) on 0115 912 3320 if you live in the City of Nottingham or the Nottinghamshire County NHS Trust PALS team on 0800 028 3693 if you live within the county.